Travel to The Ezulwini Valley – The Valley of Heaven
The scenic Ezulwini Valley lies at the bottom of the Malagwane Hill along the Mbabane/Manzini highway. This is Swaziland’s main tourist area, where you will find excellent hotels and restaurants as well as craft outlets, many activities and other attractions. Along the main road is Ludzizini. This replaced Lobamba as the traditional capital when King Mswati III ascended the throne in 1986 and is the royal home of the Queen Mother.
Lobamba is the heart of the Royal Ezulwini Valley, where monuments, museums, culture and crafts are to be found. King Mswati III lives in a grand residence in this valley and rules the Kingdom with his Queen Mother (known as Ndlovukazi, meaning ‘she-elephant’). Every August the king gets a chance to add to his number of wives at the traditional Umhlanga (Reed) Dance. All the young virgins perform in front of the Ndlovukazi and from amongst them the king chooses his next wife. Although the maidens’ participation in the reed dance is voluntary, once the King chooses a bride from amongst the dancers, they cannot refuse the offer.
The previous King, Sobhuza II, was the world’s longest reigning monarch and is said to have fathered more than 500 children during his 65-year reign.
One popular attraction here are the many colourful and vibrant markets with their wide selection of crafts and souvenirs. However, other attractions include Southern Africa’s first ever casino at the Royal Swazi Sun, Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary where you can enjoy game drives and walking and horse riding trails, as well as cultural experiences and Mantenga Nature Reserve which embraces the Cultural Village where visitors may learn about traditional Swazi life and customs.
There are numerous activities in which to participate here. These include; horse riding, golf, game drives at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, bird watching and hiking. Popular hiking routes include; Phophonyane near Pigg’s Peak where you’ll see waterfalls, moutains and impressive birdlife; The Hills of Hhohho and Magnificent Maguga The Tea Road and Scenic Splendour.
Visit the shops at the Sun International hotel complex, where quality clothing and souvenirs are available. There is also a beauty spa at the Royal Swazi Sun in which to relax. Or perhaps play a round at the challenging international standard 18-hole golf course before checking out the regions plentiful restaurants and night clubs.
- Hike and horse ride amidst beautiful scenery in wildlife sanctuarys and game reserves.
- Relax in clubs, restaurants, spas and casinos aplenty.
- Visit traditional Swazi villages and attend local festivals.